2024 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Award Picks

Updated June 6, 2024
Updated June 6, 2024By Tony Reyes

The 2024 Stanley Cup Final is officially set.

The Florida Panthers, led by their star players Aleksander Barkov and Sergei Bobrovsky, have been instrumental in their journey to the championship round, have made it to the final for the third time in their 30-year history and are seeking their first-ever championship.

The Edmonton Oilers, who have been eagerly awaited in the Cup Final since 2006, are back in the game. They last tasted victory in one of their five championships in 1990.

In a display of sheer competitiveness, both teams started their conference finals on the road. They fought hard and clinched their spots in the Final with six-game series victories.

Before we get to our picks, you should check out our NHL Stanley Cup Betting Sites, which answers any questions you may have about it.

2024 NHL Stanley Cup Final Series Odds

Florida Panthers-137-140-135
Edmonton Oilers+117+120+115

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers boast the two best players in the series, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who can elevate the team on most nights. However, it’s not just this dynamic duo that has propelled Edmonton to this point.

Zach Hyman (14 goals), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20 points), and defenseman Evan Bouchard (6 goals, 27 points) have also made significant contributions.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner has rebounded from a rough Second Round against the Vancouver Canucks with a strong series against the Stars. In his last eight starts, Skinner and the Oilers have allowed more than two goals only once.

While his .889 even-strength save percentage in the playoffs isn’t stellar, he’s been effective enough to secure wins.

Skinner and the Oilers will face a Panthers team that averages 33.2 shots per game. Edmonton has done well at suppressing shots (25 shots allowed per game) and recently held a potent Stars team to zero power-play goals in their series.

Known for their offensive prowess led by McDavid and Draisaitl, the Oilers have also demonstrated solid defensive capabilities, particularly on the penalty kill, posing a tough challenge for the Panthers.

Edmonton’s top players must perform at their best, and the power play needs to remain effective for celebrations in Alberta this summer.

Sergei Bobrovsky’s .924 save percentage at 5-on-5 has instilled confidence in the Panthers.

His rare poor performances have directly led to Florida’s losses this postseason, highlighting how crucial his play is to their success.

Depth is essential at this stage of the season. Fourteen different Panthers have scored goals, and they have generated 43 more scoring chances at 5-on-5 than the Oilers in one fewer game.

Florida leads the postseason in expected goals percentage (55.02), while Edmonton sits at 49.43%.

The Panthers also bring a physical element to their games. Matthew Tkachuk is their primary agitator, and Sam Bennett is known for his borderline physical play. Together, they fit the mold of a Paul Maurice-coached team.

Although Florida’s penalty kill isn’t as strong as Edmonton’s, it can effectively shut down scoring opportunities. The Oilers have relied heavily on their power play, with 30% of their postseason goals coming via special teams (19 out of 63).

Edmonton Oilers to win2024 Stanley Cup
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Florida Panthers

Florida has excelled at neutralizing opposing stars.

In the First Round, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point combined for three goals for Tampa; Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored none for the Bruins in the Second Round; and Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, and Chris Kreider managed just two goals in the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers.

This trend is something Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch and his staff must address in their game plan.

The Panthers have also stifled power-play units. The Bruins went 1-for-17, and the Rangers managed just one goal in 15 opportunities. Although the Lightning scored four times in 20 chances, Maurice’s adjustments after the First Round have proven effective.

A strong forechecking game has been key to the Panthers’ offensive success, potentially creating opportunities as the Oilers transition into defensive coverage.

Florida’s ability to recover pucks and generate scoring chances off cycling the puck can overwhelm Edmonton’s defense.

Florida’s strategy of disrupting opponents’ play has been successful through three rounds.

They learned from last year’s experience how tough securing 16 wins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is. This experience will be crucial against the Oilers, continuing the tactics that have brought them this far.

Florida Panthers to win2024 Stanley Cup
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2024 NHL Playoff MVP Odds

Connor McDavid+210+225+190
Aleksander Barkov+350+400+450
Sergei Bobrovsky+375+450+450
Matthew Tkachuk+600+600+575
Evan Bouchard+850+850+900
Leon Draisaitl+900+700+900
Carter Verhaege+2000+2000+2500

Connor McDavid

Despite facing numerous setbacks in the postseason, Connor McDavid, the favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy, has made a remarkable comeback.

His return to the top, with the Oilers now in the Stanley Cup Final, is a testament to his resilience and the team’s journey.

McDavid, who led the NHL in points for the past three seasons, joined an elite group of Hall of Famers by recording his first 100-assist season in 2023-24.

His momentum has carried into the postseason, where he tops the scoring race with 31 points (five goals, 26 assists).

In Game 6 against the Dallas Stars, McDavid opened the scoring and assisted on the game-winning goal, maintaining his scorching pace throughout the playoffs.

Connor McDavid to win 2024 Conn Smythe Trophy
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Aleksander Barkov

Aleksander Barkov stands out as the leading representative for the Stanley Cup-bound Panthers.

With six goals and 17 points across 17 games this postseason, he ranks third in goals and second in points for his team.

Last year, the Finnish star managed just one goal and one assist in a single game during the Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.

He has been held without a point this postseason in nine of the 17 games.

Aleksander Barkov2024 Conn Smythe Trophy
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Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk propelled the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final last season, and while he hasn’t needed to carry the team as much this time around, he remains their key tone-setter.

Tkachuk leads the Panthers in postseason points with 19 in 17 games, tallying five goals and 14 assists. His importance to the team cannot be overstated; last year, when he was sidelined by injury in the Final, the Panthers’ hopes effectively ended.

Tkachuk’s ability to set the tone comes from his knack for getting into opponents’ heads. His physicality makes him the NHL’s premier power forward, and his presence against the speed of the Oilers will add an intriguing dynamic to the series.

For the Panthers to win their first Cup in history, Tkachuk will need to make several big plays. At +600 odds, he’s a strong contender worth considering for significant impact in this series.

Matthew Tkachuk to win2024 Conn Smythe Trophy
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About the Author

Tony Reyes
Tony Reyes

Tony is a pro sports journalist who dedicates most of his free time to watching the latest matches and games on TV. Tony enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and basketball when he's not participating in sports-related activities or seeing his friends. In addition to being a sports expert, Tony has extensive knowledge of finances and accounting. He leverages this expertise to provide insightful betting analysis for all sports, identifying value based on overlooked factors.

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